Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why Did God Make Man?

Upon finishing the work of creating, God's evaluation of all he had made, including mankind, was that everything was good--no, make that very good. Of all that he had created, humans alone were described as made in his image. Apart from all else, they could relate to God correspondingly, in a way akin to Adam relating correspondingly to Eve. They were persons in a way analogous to God being a person.

If we understand Paul's description of completion, we begin to understand God's ultimate aim in making mankind in the way that he did. Mankind was not intended to be a pet in a menagerie, but a friend and family member to God. God made man in his image, because man was intended to share life on his level. If that sounds like a reach, note the soaring language of Christ's high priestly prayer.

I don't think it was ever God's intention (can one outside of time have such a linear conception?) to sustain Adam, Eve and their offspring in blissful, everlasting innocence (ignorance). Failure is possible from that state, and it is not what we are raised to at the end of time. In order to accomplish his ultimate aims, mankind would have to be let in on everything at some time, for that tree wasn't put in the midst of the garden for mere ornamentation or even temptation.

At the right moment, mankind would have had to be brought into the fullness of knowledge (i.e. knowing God and what he knows) and into the realm of sight. In the meantime, the essential quality that God was attempting to distill within the human race was faith. Faith does not operate in the realm of sight, but only in the face of ignorance in the experience of the not yet. In that state, it is the faith of the created in their Creator that allows God to ultimately share all that he is and has with them.

When one trusts in God, in turn God can trust him or her. It's like the old Hollywood storyline of someone fabulously wealthy hiding his or her identity and then seeking true love and friendship in the ignorance and innocence of other people. Life on God's level can only truly be led by God, but for those who have faith in him, such life can be shared with them. And that is what we've been made for.